The big heat of Summer is here, the time that Basil begins growing with beautiful bounty! We’ve just started delivering bunches to the co-op and I’m happily munching as much as I can.
I’m a pretty serious Basil hound, using fresh leaves like lettuce and smearing pesto on anything I can. Good old sweet ‘Genovese’ Basil is my standard, but it’s fun having the different flavors of different varieties so we also grow ‘Lemon’ (makes an incredible sun tea), ‘Dark Opal’ (a purple-colored variety of Italian Sweet Basil), ‘Thai’ (a spicier Asian cousin that holds its flavor better when cooked with heat) and ‘Sacred’ (native to India, also called ‘Holy’ Basil or ‘Tulsi’).
Basil has been traditionally used as herbal medicine, and is good food being rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.
So delicious! And it’s good for you! Enjoy some new recipes this Summer- you might get addicted like me but it’s kindof hard to see a downside to that 😉
It’s the middle of October, so a killing frost is just around the corner. I’m spending as much time as I can in the garden, soaking up the beauty of the last flowers before they are gone for the year….
Virgin coconut oil is one of my favorite oils. Besides the beautiful natural aroma, it’s an easy and effective hair conditioner adding shine as well as repairing dry and damaged hair.
This is coconut oil infused with lavender flower, holy basil leaf, and rosemary leaf; herbs that condition, reduce tangles, strengthen hair, and stimulate growth.
Don’t you just love that green?
With jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, and lavender, holy basil and rosemary essential oils added, this is what I’ve been using to deep condition the “supercrunch” I’ve got goin’ on (my hair is so dry right now it actually sounds crunchy!).
When I say “basil”, do you think “pesto”? Pesto made with sweet basil just happens to be one of my most long-standing addictions, but with over 50 different varieties (possibly as many as 150!) distributed around the world, basil is about much, much more….
Since ancient times, basil has found its way into our food, medicine and cosmetics. It’s antibacterial and antiviral, and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, and calcium.
Basil has been used medicinally to ease headaches, sore throats, coughs, nausea, and to ease nervous tension. It’s also reputed to strengthen dry or brittle hair, restoring hair’s natural luster and shine.
One of my favorite hair rinses is a strong tea made of Basil leaves and Lavender flowers. You can pour it over your head and catch the runoff in a bowl to keep repeating, or do it lazy-style like me and just dunk your head in a bowl.
A twist on my recipe: substitute Holy Basil (Tulsi) for the Sweet Basil. For Brunettes: try a Basil and Rosemary blend. For Blondes & Redheads: try a Basil and Chamomile blend.
To make this aromatic, strengthening hair rinse, use 2 Tbsp of herb per cup of water and steep for at least 15 minutes.
Gardening catalogs began arriving before the holidays this Winter, and I jumped right on them! Didn’t want any of my first choices to be sold out when I ordered!
(I’m swooning over the “Early Blood Turnip” beets, “Hakurei” turnips, “Listada de Gandia” eggplants, and “Jenny Lind” muskmelons that I’m trying for the first time, and hoping to grow more calendula, chamomile, lavender, and holy basil than ever before)
I’ve been rushing to devour all the organic gardening books I could get my hands on to prepare for our “farm expansion” in the Spring, taking notes and stockpiling supplies like mad.
Now it’s January 11. All my seeds have arrived. Planting plans have been sketched out on paper to make sure I’m keeping good crop rotation, and starts scheduled on the calendar.
Nothing left to do now but wait for gardening season to begin again!
I’ve been growing Holy Basil in the garden for three years and only fall deeper in love with each passing season! When you meet this plant, you understand instantly why it is so revered; its fragrance is truly heavenly! Being so useful medicinally while being so pleasant to consume really does seem a kind of miracle…..
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) is also commonly called Tulsi (which is Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”) and is worshipped by Hindus throughout India. In Ayurveda, it’s used as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee for the common cold, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, poisoning, and malaria.
Essential oil can be extracted from Holy Basil and is used in skin care and herbal cosmetics for its anti-biotic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
If your skin is acne-prone like mine, you’ll love what Holy Basil can do for you! Make a tea with dried Holy Basil and use it like a toner. It helps clear up acne and blemishes, while making your complexion appear brighter.
You can also use the tea as a hair rinse to add luster to dry hair and soothe an itchy scalp, as well as for a breath-freshening mouth rinse.
I like to add Holy Basil to bathtub tea too. Talk about a reviving, skin-soothing soak!